BOSTON (CBS) – Up to 40,000 Americans die from firearms every year and mental illness is often blamed, but a new study from the University of Texas says don’t blame mental illness, blame access to guns.
They surveyed more than 600 young adults and asked about firearm possession as well as symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD, and other mental illness.
They found that the majority of the mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence. Instead, they found that people who simply had access to a gun were 18 times more likely to have threatened someone with a firearm compared to people who had no such access.
Researchers say the few studies that have been done have been misleading and that they found that the link between mental illness and gun violence is simply not there and that the key to reducing gun violence is to limit access to guns and not to focus solely on addressing mental health in this country.